Skillsmax, a non-profit business that mobilises communities, has shown its support for the Entrepreneurs Unlocked crowdfunding campaign by donating £1000 to the Build Back Project, which is looking to help 30 ex-offenders into self-employment in construction.

Why The Build Back Up Project Is Important To Them

Lynne Johnson, the business owner of Skillsmax, tells us why: “There are two main factors behind our decision to support David Morgan’s Build Back Up Project. The first is that the funding available to ex-offenders has been difficult to access and establish, particularly over the last 12 months. We, of course, understand that the pandemic has impacted this when it comes to funding streams. Still, the long-term effect is that many ex-offenders will not be supported when they leave custody, which can often lead to re-offending and an ultimate significant cost on public spending.

“Any support given to help ex-offenders to work, following their release from custody, is proven to help reduce re-offending. Furthermore, if they can become self-sufficient through self-employment, this reduces the required funding and support from the government even more.

“The access to funding, for people leaving custody or during a long probationary period, is generally sporadic, is not guaranteed and can be difficult to access. As a result, it is increasingly difficult for these men and women, who need mentoring and support upon leaving custody, to find this kind of help. However, with David Morgan’s campaign, the Build Back Up Project, we see a programme that gives the support needed right now.

“The second reason we want to support the Build Back Up Project is that our society and economy are increasingly focussing on people who have a skill or talent, and to reduce the number of newly self-employed people failing and returning into the system.

“To achieve this, ex-offenders need structured support, an understanding of what they want to achieve, and tailored help. For example, in construction, workers are often very good at their trade, but they fall when it comes to bookkeeping and timekeeping, and this is the type of support needed to help keep them in successful self-employment. And essentially, this kind of support reduces the possibility of these businesses going to the wall in the next 2 years.

“What David Morgan’s Build Back Up Project is doing is so much more than just talking about self-employment and how to become self-employed. David is demonstrating, to the ex-offenders he supports, the pitfalls, the details of what may happen, and the tricky situations and circumstances that can occur, when starting in self-employment and, in particular, for ex-offenders who may have been in custody for some time. David is providing the people on his programme with the tools and support to overcome challenges and pitfalls and come out to the other side.

“The Build Back Up Project is very different from other models. For example, other models often focus on how to get into self-employment broadly and meet the minimum threshold for self-employment. Still, David and his programmes look into why people want to do this, he challenges their reasons, and this approach builds resilience and passion, and in turn, it builds confidence in what they are doing.

“The journey out of custody and self-employment is not a quick fix. However, the support, mentoring and tools David Morgan’s Build Back Up Project provides will help ex-offenders into a long-term self-employed future.”

Who Are Skillsmax?

Skillsmax is a small, non-profit, welfare-to-work business, working with people that other organisations don’t want to work with and struggle to gain employment; ex-offenders, people with learning difficulties and those over-50s in long-term unemployment. Skillsmax helps local people to find employment by providing information, advice, and guidance and, to date, has helped over 5000 job seekers find employment.

Lynne Johnson concludes: “For a small organisation like Skillsmax, we want any money we donate to make a difference, and David Morgan’s Build Back Up project does exactly that.

“We would encourage other businesses and individuals to support this crowdfunding campaign and help David carry out his programme with 30 ex-offenders into long-term self-employed work in construction.”


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